Most reasonably educated, marginally politically aware Americans know by now that the world hates us. It's hard to miss—demonstrations in France, terrorism from the Middle East, and comments made worldwide after September 11 that we “got what we deserved” all point to the fact that the world has come to resent American dominance. Most Americans, however, rarely stop to consider why this has come to be the case, probably because we see ourselves as invulnerable (or, at least, we did until we started to become the targets of terrorism.)
According to Amy Chua, the reason we've become a magnet for worldwide ire is because we are the Earth's market-dominant minority. America, while a small fraction of the global population, holds an enormous percentage of its wealth. Through exhaustively researched and numerous examples, she explains that small minorities commanding the assets of a nation (or, in our case, the world) breeds often violently-expressed resentment in those less privileged.
[...] The exportation from the West of free markets concurrently with universal suffrage never works out as planned, a fact she further demonstrates by pointing out that the West itself has never adopted both at the same time. In France, Belgium, and England, voting was historically limited to those with land, and in the United States, blacks were prevented from voting long after emancipation. The dominant white minority in the South was “terrified to the point of hysteria at the prospect of black majority rule [p. [...]
[...] Then imagine that the roughly 75% of the U.S population who consider themselves were dirt poor, owned no land, and, as a group, had experienced no upward mobility as far back as anyone can remember [p. This is the current political and economic situation in many developing countries across the world. The Chinese in Southeast Asia, the Tutsis in Rwanda, the Ibo in Nigeria, the Jews in Russia, the Indians in Fiji, and many other groups have all had similar histories in the past thirty years or so; by controlling most of the wealth in the countries in which they live, seen as “exploitative” and “colonial” by the impoverished natives, they have made themselves the targets of racial hatred and violence. [...]
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